Dear praying friends
I should like to first bring a special prayer request before you and it relates to Mike in Texas who has a ministry similar to ‘Take Heed.’ He has just recently received worrying news in the area of his own health and I would ask you to remember Mike and also his family very especially at this time. Since I last wrote the work at “Take Heed” has kept me even busier than usual and in addition other spiritual matters have eaten into my time so if I have been slow or perhaps have failed in responding to some inquiries please forgive me and I do ask for understanding. We are deeply grateful for the faithful prayerful and practical support of many without which “Take Heed” could not function. Please continue to pray on for the priests who received tapes – a number are still in correspondence with me. Margaret and I hope to attend the School of Theology @ The Metropolitan Tabernacle (London) [as students] in early July so perhaps we may see some of you there.
Your servant for Christ
Why Roman Catholicism Is Not Christian (Part One)
“This article and part two which appears in the September 1998 ‘News From The Front’ are available in booklet form from “Take Heed” Ministries 11 Ballynahinch Road Carryduff Belfast BT8 8DN [price £1.00 includes p&p]”.
In Acts chapter 13 the Apostle Paul during the course of his sermon in Antioch outlines some of the history of God’s dealings with the people of Israel and in verse 23 he declares how God has fulfilled His promise in that He “raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.” The people and religious leaders did not recognise the coming of the one who had been predicted and promised by the prophets of God and promptly rejected him and in so doing they actually fulfilled the prophetic scriptures – “For they that dwell at Jerusalem and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him” (verse 27). Paul then trumpets forth the victorious resurrection of Christ and in the wake of this tremendous truth he says “And we declare unto you glad tidings” (verse 32). What are these “glad tidings” which Paul is so anxious to declare – we find the answer in verses 38-39 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; And by him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
The “glad tidings” which Paul wanted to convey to his listeners were that through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a person can have, without reliance on their own part to perfectly keep God’s law, “forgiveness of sins” and be “justified” before God. These “glad tidings” of “forgiveness” and being “justified” are “through this man” (the Person and Work of Jesus Christ) and not through personal self-effort/self-righteousness ( “by the law” ). Like “they that dwell at Jerusalem and their rulers” the Roman Catholic people and their ruling clergy “know him not” and are ignorant of the true, biblical “glad tidings.”
Such a statement needs to be proved and that is what I now plan to do by outlining firstly what the Bible teaches are the blessings to all those who are true born-again converts who are no longer “in Adam” (‘dead’) but are “in Christ” (‘alive’) (lst Corinthians 15 verse 22). Twice in the book of Hebrews God spells out what has been accomplished in the realm of “forgiveness” as a result of the redemptive work of Christ who alone is “the mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12v24). In Hebrews 8 verse 12 God says “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” and He repeats His promise in Hebrews 10v17. When God forgives a true believer He forgives FULLY and that person is no longer under “condemnation” which is the position of the unregenerate unbeliever – “verily verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death (CONDEMNED) unto life (JUSTIFIED).” (John 5v24)
A TRUE BELIEVER HAS IMMEDIATE, PERMANENT PEACE WITH GOD. The Ethiopian eunuch was reading from Isaiah chapter 53 when Philip caught up with him (Acts 8 v32-33) and he asked a question “of whom speaketh the prophet this?” (v34) and in verse 35 we are told “Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture and preached unto him Jesus.” Isaiah chapter 53 prophetically and vividly paints a picture of the redemptive work of Christ at Calvary “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (v5). ALL the punishment for sin that was necessary for genuine believers to have COMPLETE and PERMANENT PEACE with God was laid upon Christ and that is why Paul says of Christ “He is our peace” (Ephesians 2v14) and speaks of “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6v15). Biblically, “forgiveness of sins” through Christ is truly “glad tidings.”
Does the ‘gospel’ proclaimed in Roman Catholicism teach the “glad tidings” of “forgiveness (IMMEDIATE, COMPLETE and PERMANENT) of sins” on the sole basis of “through this man” (ie. such forgiveness secured ALONE by the Person and Work of Jesus Christ without any personal input)? Is a believer “justified from all things” without needing to personally offer something in addition to the sinless life (righteousness) and substitutionary sufferings (redemption) of the Lord Jesus Christ? To answer the question on “forgiveness” let me quote from the 1994 ‘CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ‘ In paragraph 1473 (part of a section entitled ‘The Punishments of Sin’) we read – ‘The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains.’ I think it is important at this stage to emphasise the importance given within Roman Catholicism to the teachings contained in this CATECHISM. On page 5 Pope John Paul 11 wrote the following – ‘The CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic doctrine attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a SURE NORM for teaching the faith.’ The Roman Catholic church teaches that each water-baptised believer’ still has ‘temporal punishment’ lying in what might be called their ‘sin account.’ Are the consequences of this so-called ‘temporal punishment of sin’ serious? Let me quote from the POCKET CATHOLIC DICTIONARY by John A.Hardon S.J. which carries the Roman Catholic Imprimi Potest, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur approvals. ‘TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT The penalty that God in his justice inflicts either on earth or in Purgatory for sins, even though already forgiven as to guilt.’
The meaning is clear. Although someone is ‘forgiven as to guilt’ there remains ‘temporal punishment’ which must be discharged either here on earth or after death in Purgatory. ‘TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT’ which has not been dealt with is sufficient to prevent someone from going directly to heaven. According to Roman Catholicism a measure of “condemnation” known in their language as ‘temporal punishment of sin’ still remains upon Roman Catholic ‘believers.’ What a contrast this to the glorious message to all ‘biblical believers’ who are relying solely upon the righteousness and redemption of Christ (“Jesus Christ and him crucified” lst Corinthians 2 verse 2). Let me repeat again the words of John 5 verse 24 “verily ,verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me HATH EVERLASTING LIFE and SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION but is passed from death (CONDEMNED) unto life (JUSTIFIED).” When a person is biblically “born again” through a sovereign work of God The Holy Spirit and not through the sacramental act of a sinful man as Roman Catholicism falsely claims they are declared to be “in Christ” and no longer “in Adam” and God’s Word assures true believers “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus”(Romans 8 verse l). The sin of all those “in Christ” has been “put away” “but now once in the end of the world hath he [Christ] appeared TO PUT AWAY SIN by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9 verse 26). The sins of all those “in Christ” have been “purged” “when he [Christ] had by himself PURGED OUR SINS” (Hebrews 1 verse 3) All those “in Christ” have been “washed” from their sins “Unto him [Christ] that loved us and WASHED US FROM OUR SINS in his own blood” (Revelation 1 verse 5). These are truly biblical “glad tidings” in contrast to the Roman Catholic ‘sad tidings’ that ‘temporal punishment of sin remains.’ In part 2 we shall examine “justification.”
Recollections of Romania
I mentioned in my February newsletter the door which the Lord opened to me to serve Him in Romania and that trip began at 4.30am on 11th January when I surfaced from beneath my bedclothes to make my way to Belfast Airport for the 7.15am flight to Gatwick where I successfully met up with Andy Godfrey of Slavic Gospel Association and after a smooth flight to Hungary where we picked up our hired car we made our way to the Motel Katarina close to the Romanian border which we crossed mid-morning on the Monday and by noon we were ‘checking in’ to Oradea Baptist church which would be our home for the next 3 days. En route to dine at the local McDonald’s, I spied 2 Mormon missionaries witnessing in the centre of town so I felt quite sure it was the Lord’s plan and purpose to have me there. My first series of lectures to around 30 men who attend the course designed to train church pastors and planters began at 5.00pm and ended about 8.45pm and that was the pattern over the next few days. After my final talk on the Wednesday there was a profitable question and answer session followed by a time of fellowship and refreshments. During my time there I was treated to much generous Christian hospitality by those who have little of this worlds material goods but who are “rich toward God.” One daytime visit took in the Felix orphanage which the Church in Oradea are responsible for and there I met Dr.Daniel who is in charge and what a Godly influence he and his staff bring to bear on the children in their charge. Water supply in the summer is a major problem and the orphanage are hoping to sink a well on the site to solve the problem – please pray that God will supply the money and the means. Should you wish to personally contribute to this scheme you could send donations as follows: – Felix Orphanage Well Scheme, Slavic Gospel Association, 37A The Gaffs, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 lHF. If your church has an opening for Mission support why not invite SGA to send along their local representative. Thursday 8.30am saw us leaving Oradea to drive to Tigur Mures which would be my base for the next 3 and a half days whilst Andy travelled on to work in Medias. That evening (5.OOpm-8.15pm) I spoke on 2 topics and next day lectures began at 10.30am and went on until 6.00pm. Saturday we again started at 10.30am but finished at 2.00 pm. These classes were attended by up to 23 people of varying ages who were all keen to broaden their knowledge in order to effectively witness for the Lord. After preaching on the Sunday morning and enjoying a final meal with my hosts – the Pastor and his wife and young daughter – together with Andy who had returned from Medias we set off to drive to Cluz where we were to spend the night with Ben Farrigou one of Romania’s leading theologians. I can only describe the road up to Ben’s house as a nightmare and it so happened that it was my turn to drive (Andy’s no mug). I was very relieved when we returned to the car next morning that there wasn’t a large pool of oil under it as I was afraid that damage had been done the previous evening as we bumped and scraped our way to where Ben lived. After a hearty breakfast we set off to reach our hotel close to Budapest airport and there we rested before flying out on Tuesday 20th to return to Gatwick. I was once more very conscious of the prayers of God’s people and was most encouraged by the feed-back in both locations from those who attended the lectures. Please pray that God will use the teaching given to help His people in Romania expose and counter the false teachings which have flooded in in recent years. My translator in Tigur Mures, Briana, is planning to attend Bible College in Oradea – please pray that God will guide her in her desire to serve Him.
Foreign Feelings At Finndhorn
Margaret and I were able to spend a relaxing week in a quiet area of North East Scotland during the last week of April and I took the opportunity to visit one of the best known (in the world) New Age centres – the Findhorn Foundation which lies east of Inverness overlooking the Moray Firth. This was a centre which was familiar to me through the writings of amongst others Dave Hunt and also through the video of a TV programme which I often use when talking on the New Age. It is a combination of static caravans and purpose built offices/visitors centre/arts centre/shop and cafe/. I doubt if I have ever felt as spiritually uncomfortable as I did during our timethere and after about 15 minutes we left as the feeling of oppression was intense. I managed to pick up some leaflets and leave some scripture references in the visitors book (Johnl4:6;Acts4:l2). I also obtained Network News/April 1998 – the magazine of the Foundation and the worldwide influence of this group was highlighted in an article entitled ‘Findhorn Foundation and the United Nations.’
‘Last December the United Nations accredited the Findhorn Foundation as a non-governmental organisation associated with the UN’s Department of Public Information. This unique recognition involves supporting the process of implementing the principles of the United Nations, raising awareness on UN activities and issues of global concern…This association with the UN entails a commitment on the part of Findhorn Foundation “to disseminate information and raise public awareness about the purposes and activities and achievements of the United Nations and issues of global concern” related to sustainability, environment peace, shelter new world order… This recognition is not to aggrandise the group ego but to affirm the true nature of the work which is unfolding at Findhorn Its founding pattern of attunement to the Will of God brings with it a planetary context – not in a missionary sense but in the sense of a deep alignment with the purpose of the planetary being…The deeper the Community will go into its local, practical and inner work the more energy from above will pour in’ (p4) Those familiar with New Age terminology and philosophy will readily recognise how opposed the underlined partions are to the Creator God, Who can only be ‘attuned to’ through faith in the person and work of His beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is working out His plans and purposes rather than those of some ‘planetary being’ and Who gifts to all His chosen people the Person of God the Holy Spirit to indwell them rather than exterior spiritual ‘energy from above’ often symbolised today by the rainbow. 13 years ago when he published his book ‘The Seduction of Christianity’ Dave Hunt quoted the then leading UN Official Robert Muller ‘The time has come to obtain peace on this planet…the UN charter has to be supplemented by a charter of spiritual laws’ (p53/54). Findhorn is now part of that `supplement!’
Frank Eberhardt the former trainee Roman Catholic priest who was here in February 1997 for meetings will return for most of the month of October and a full schedule of his meetings will be included with my next newsletter(DV).Your prayers for God’s blessing will be appreciated. Following the visit of Eryl Davies last year to speak on ‘The Cooneyites’ Margaret and I spoke to a lady called Valerie who called with us to order tapes. She had been raised in a Cooneyite environment but because of the background of her husband she had been ‘put out’ by them. I gave her a copy of Dr Davies book ‘The Ultimate Rescue’ which focuses on Christ’s redeeming work at Calvary and the day we returned from Scotland Margaret received a phone call from Valerie to the effect that in recent weeks she was beginning to grasp the truth of the Person and Work of Christ. She is seeking a bible church in her area and I know she has spoken with a Godly minister already. Please pray for Valerie’s (and her husband’s) salvation.
Ecumenical Efforts to Evade!
United Prayer Initiative (October 1997 – December 1999)
This initiative has the ‘finger-prints’ of leading ecumenists and ‘evangelical’ Catholics everywhere to be seen. The stated purposes relate to ‘spiritual revival’ ‘changes in sectarian attitudes’ and ‘fair and just politics.’ Amongst those listed as supporters are ‘Reverends’ Neal Carlin, Pat Collins, Oliver Crilly these are in fact Roman Catholic priests and it is amazing how often today they are called ‘Rev’ rather than ‘Father’ – another fine example being last Sunday (10th May) at Belfast’s St.Anne’s Cathedral where the speaker was listed as the Very Rev. Donal McKeown who is in fact ‘Father’ McKeown – the principal of the St.Malachy’s Roman Catholic College and amongst his congregation would have been a visiting member of the Royal Family – Princess Alexandra. Other ecumenical listed UPI supporters are David Jardine, Cecil Kerr, Ken Newell, Ruth Patterson, Paul & Priscilla Reid, Bill Roy, Lesley Spence and the leading ‘Evangelical’ Catholic – Paddy Monaghan.
The Rec Walk (5th July 1998 – 28th August 1998)
The purpose is described as ‘It’s Christian young people on a journey of discovery together around the borders of Northern Ireland discovering their common destiny in Christ and His heart for their land while praying for Reconciliation: Unity: Peace. The Executive Committee are drawn from the Church of Ireland Youth Council; Christian Fellowship Church; CATHOG; Methodist Youth and YWAM Amongst the listed supporters are 1 Cardinal and 3 (RC) Bishops, 4 Church of Ireland Bishops; 1 former moderator and 3 Presbyterian ministers, representatives of Youth for Christ and Scripture Union. Those involved in this ‘Rec Walk’ bring to mind those faithless ones which Paul reminded Timothy of in 1 Timothy 1vl8-19 “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; HOLDING FAITH and a good conscience; WHICH SOME HAVING PUT AWAY CONCERNING FAITH HAVE MADE SHIPWRECK.”
Jesus In The City (26th – 30th September 1998)
The promotional leaflet tells us ‘Over 500 people gathered in Liverpool in 1995 for the first ever UK Urban Congress’ and from encouragements received it was decided to hold a second in Belfast. Endorsements are recorded from John Duncan (Youth For Christ NI) Richard Holloway, Episcopalian Bishop of Scotland (a staunch advocate of gay/lesbian rights) David Evans (Tear Fund) Ambrose Griffiths (Catholic Bishops England/Wales) Douglas Nichol (Church of Scotland). Other named groups include Evangelical Alliance; Frontier Youth trust; Iona Community; Scripture Union; Spurgeons College. The joint chairmen for Belfast are enthusiastically quoted and they are Bro.Richard Kelly, Franciscan Friars Belfast and Rev.Bill Moore, Presbyterian Minister. Another executive member listed is Prof. J.Patton Taylor (Union college – where Presbyterian Ministers are trained and where Booking Forms are to be sent). Amongst the speakers listed for the Monday morning are Patrick McCafferty the Belfast Roman Catholic priest who took part in debates I organised with Rob Zins and Rev.Norman Hamilton (Presbyterian) and by way of light relief on the Monday evening there is a Ceiligh ‘cross-national entertainment’ What a devilish diet of deception is coming this way!
“Take Heed” On The Internet
Thanks to the anonymous generosity and knowledge of one who receives my newsletters they are now available on the Internet and I have already received a number of inquiries. For those who are computer literate (unlike myself) our address is http://www.takeheed.net
I know some friends have been praying for God to open doors of witnessing through the media and certainly in recent months their prayers have been answered.
In January I was contacted by Sean Fleming of ‘Open Doors’ a media production company and he explained he was putting together a series on ‘Evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism’ to be broadcast on the local Downtown Radio and also on RTE radio in the South of Ireland. I gave a lengthy interview and at the same time had a good discussion with Sean who was raised as a Roman Catholic. The series has gone out on the air and it included contributions from a wide range of those who class themselves as ‘evangelicals.’ All that is wrong in the professing ‘evangelical’ world can be clearly heard in many of the views expressed. I am pleased to a degree with what was included from my own interview but disappointed that for me the crucial area of the sufficiency of the work of Christ at Calvary and on which I had much to say was not even touched upon. I have a tape available of what was broadcast by the radio station plus my own full interview and details are on the enclosed order form. It is our intention to place adverts in suitable publications as follows – Is the Roman Catholic Faith ‘Evangelical?’ For a FREE TAPE contact etc PLEASE PRAY for God to use this to reach seeking souls
‘Crossfire’ – Channel 5 TV
Shortly after I returned from Romania I received a phone call from a London based media production company who make religious programmes for several TV channels. They were keen to line up a debate on the topic ‘Should Mary Be Declared Co-Redemptrix?’ In due course they flew me to London where I recorded the debate with Jesuit Richard Foley. Again I am deeply grateful to those who prayed for me as it was certainly not an easy experience. The debate was broadcast on Sunday 8th February and I received much encouraging feedback from a number who watched it. A video of what was broadcast is available from Take Heed Ministries
‘Do You Believe?’ – Channel 5 TV
In March I received a further phone call from the London based media production company who were hoping to organise a debate on the subject of ‘Saints and Stigmata’ with particular focus on an Italian priest Padre Pio who died about 30 years ago. They wanted to know if I could recommend anyone and it ‘so happened’ that Rob Zins was here for his series of meetings so with a little rearranging we fitted in a visit to London by Rob where he recorded the debate with 2 Roman Catholic priests and an Anglo-Catholic journalist and this was broadcast on Sunday l9th April. Once again a video is available from Take Heed Ministries
With just over 100 people present this rally took place on Saturday l4th March and all who attended were treated to 4 excellent talks covering ‘Reasons For The Reformation’ ‘Reaction To The Reformation’ ‘Reversal Of The Reformation’ and ‘Rejoicing In The Reformation.’ Both speakers, Rob Zins and Bill Hughes (from Glasgow), informed and inspired as they respectively set before us history and the Word of God. Audio and video tapes of the day are available – for details see the enclosed order form. Bill Hughes gave a stirring message on the Friday evening on ‘Contending Earnestly For the Faith’ and Rob in other meetings gave details of how many leading ‘evangelicals’ have drifted and are ‘On The Edge Of Apostasy.’ An audio of his talk and his recently published book with this title are now available from Take Heed Ministries
(UCB) United Christian Broadcasters
A number of worrying aspects have surfaced in relation to the above. Having looked at back issues of their Daily Devotions called ‘The Word For Today’ we find the following under August 16 (Edition 14) ‘Jesus has set you free from the curse of the law, which is SICKNESS, LACK, fear, defeat and death.’ A clear HEALTH & WEALTH ‘GOSPEL.’ Under November 19 we read ‘In Pensacola Florida people wait from 3.30 every afternoon to get into Brownsville Assembly of God for the 7.00pm service. Its called the Pensacola Outpouring! Over 18,000 people found Christ last year…. God is doing what He said “He’s pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh!”‘ Those like myself who have watched the ‘goings-on’ in Pensacola know only too well that is a re-run of the Toronto Deception so no discernment here from UCB. Many other extreme, and unreliable Charismatics are often referred to in the devotions. Ecumenism and the Alpha course have been commented upon favourably on air. In response to questions posed by a friend they made statements such as “we do not take a particular doctrinal stand’ ‘we do not attack doctrinal issues which divide be it….Marionology…To attack a doctrinal issue would be to close the door to people receiving the full gospel.’ According to UCB Paul must have been wrong to encourage people in 2 Timothy 3:16 that Scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction.” It gives me no pleasure to detail these problem areas but in conscience I could not personally recommend support for this group.
PS : Since publishing this article I was saddened to read the following endorsement by Gareth Littler of UCB on the back cover of the recently published ‘Adventures in Reconcilation – 29 Catholic Testimonies.’ – Mr Littler wrote – “This book will give new hope that not only is a Christ-centred biblically based revival to Ireland a necessity, but that it is actually beginning to happen.” This book gives no such hope and for a review of the book click on the link below.